Bongile Mantsai Biography

His real name is Bongile Mantsai, a South African actor and dancer best known for his role as Mthunzi Mayisa on the soapies Scandal. He is also known for his starring role as Poncho in the Mzansi Magic drama series Nkululeko. It was his first starring role in television.

Early life

Bongile Mantsai original from small township of Kayamnandi in Stellenbosch, Western Cape and comes from a musical and Christian home. His father was a bishop of the St Paul Apostolic church.


After matriculating in 1998, he wanted to study drama but failed as SU only require Afrikaans. So, he couldn’t apply because he didn’t know  language. However the passion to study drama made him approach the directors and expressed his desire to attend their lectures.

He ended up joining their physical theater which consisted of body movement and language classes; it allowed him to perform in the university’s productions.


Having been in the industry for over 15 years, Mantsai has worked with Brett Bailey and Lara Foot among others in theater. Mantsai is a creative director at Zabalaza, a Baxter Theater Centre Development Programme that develops theater specialists.

He is also known for his role as Vija in the movie Inxeba, which won him the 2018 SAFTA for Best Supporting Actor in a Feature Film.

On Monday, 11 June 2018 he debuted on the soapie Scandal! in the role of anti-hero Mthunzi Mayisa, the ill-treated, unforgiving son of domestic worker Dambisa  play by Khanyisa Bunu, who seeks revenge against the family who employ his mother. The Mthunzi Mayisa character got him the attention he needed. Mantsai is a man of many talents. He played instruments at church and composed hymns as well as songs.


In 2014 Bongile Mantsai walked away with the best lead male actor award at the Naledi Theatre Awards.

Through Inxeba in 2018 he bagged a SA Film and TV Awards Safta award for best supporting actor.

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